Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Editing shows for syndication

When shows are edited for syndication I never know who exactly does the editing. All I know is that they usually do a piss-poor job.

MASH in particular. That’s because we had two and sometimes three storylines all dovetailing. Each episode was intricately plotted. Editors will often just lift entire scenes. As a result one or two stories suddenly stop making sense. I suppose it’s a lot easier to just lift a 2:30 scene than going through the whole show and painstakingly edit lines that won’t be missed.

And after these shows are edited I don’t believe there’s anyone overseeing the process and screening the episodes to make sure they still make sense.

In a first season CHEERS David Isaacs and I wrote, Carla made a joke about her children being adopted. An adoption agency was horribly offended, contacted the president of NBC and the joke was removed for the first rerun. It was in the teaser so an easy lift.

However, when the show went into syndication the offending joke was back and has remained ever since. And no further complaints were ever filed (at least that I’m aware of). Something else was taken out instead.

And now of course, there’s another insidious process – digitally speeding up the show. Some are done deftly and others make the cast sound like Minnie Mouse.

You would think that independent stations who paid fortunes for these syndicated packages would insist that the episodes at least could be comprehended. But I guess not. The studios make their money, the stations get their ratings, and the only losers are (as always) the viewers.

That said, years ago KTLA, Channel 5 in Los Angeles aired the movie David and I wrote, VOLUNTEERS. They (or someone) edited it to squeeze  in more commercials. And I can honestly say it’s the first time I ever thought they didn’t take out enough. It was better with the edits and could have been better still with a few more judicious trims.

MASH is on a number of cable networks. One (I don’t remember which) plays the full versions of the episodes and just runs long. I thought that was ingenious. Who says a show has to end exactly at the top of the hour? Especially now when most people record the shows for later playback. As I recall, they were aired in the middle of the night. To me that was smart programming. If you know a network is going to air the unedited version, wouldn’t you make the effort to record it? More people probably watch those episodes, even though they might air at 3 AM, than if they were on at 7 PM but hacked to shit.

Also, when these shows are on a variety of platforms, why watch a cut-up version of an episode when you can go to Netflix or Hulu or get the DVD and watch it in its original form?

MASH used to be only in syndication on local stations. Those stations had exclusivity. You were stuck with the chopped versions. But now there are so many other options for watching. So if your network is airing it – or CHEERS or GOLDEN GIRLS or REBA if that’s what they have in their library – why not take that extra time to show the show right? Believe me, people watching at 3 in the morning have no idea what time it is. Some aren’t sure of the day. So the next episode starts at 3:06 – who cares?

I know this post seems long. I’ll make trims for any reprints.


E. Yarber said...

When watching edited episodes, I always had the feeling that the people would cut the show as they went along, not even bothering to sit through the story as a whole first.

"The scene works without that joke about the ocelot, so we can get rid of it," they'd say, and not bother to go back when the ocelot abruptly turned up in Act Three without a setup.

I am gradually working my way through MASH on DVD, and like that I can get the whole enchilada with the ability to cut out the laugh track.

Rob Greenberg said...

Ken, could a showrunner today produce two versions of an episode (network and syndication) to keep it in their own hands? Or is the issue redundant with today's shorter episodes?

Rick Wiedmayer said...

I rarely, if ever, watch network programming anymore. There just isn't anything that catches my interest. On the off chance there is something I will record it to watch at a later time for my convenience, plus the fact that I can fast forward through the commercials which are a big waste of time usually.

Lemuel said...

The syndicated episode edits for NIGHT GALLERY were atrocious. METV shows them late night and you can see the Universal Studios detritus they inserted to fill out the half hour requirement. I'm thankful to own the original DVDs

Gary Theroux said...

As I'm sure you know, British TV does not adhere to tight time allocations. Episodes of series such as "Monty Python" or "Fawlty Towers" could be made and broadcast with running times a few minutes short or a few minutes long and no big deal was ever made of it. U.S. cable or broadcast outlets are solely interested in the ratings a particular property generates within its alloted time frame. The could not care less about the content as long as it does not annoy (and turn off) viewers or advertisers. I was just reading the other day about a station which chose to air "The Sound of Music" in a time frame much shorter than the movie. Their simple solution? Edit out all the songs!

Jim Grey said...

I love old game shows. GSN or Buzzr, I forget which, used to show old b/w game shows in the middle of the night, old commercials and all -- and stuffed in their own commercials -- and timed them to run 45 minutes. It was awesome. And at 2:15 AM when I've Got A Secret ended I was unlikely to change the channel because every other station was in the middle of some show. So I stuck around for Password or The Price is Right or To Tell The Truth, because why not?

I'm also reminded of The CBS Late Movie, which late in its run showed mostly old TV series. They sped them up, added more commercials -- and let them run 70 minutes.

Bob Paris said...

If I recall correctly, Jerry Seinfeld went through the episodes and selected the cuts for the shorter syndicated versions. You have to respect the material and I am surprised that the studios ever let independent do their own cuts. Contract language can prevent a station from altering the episode, also. Decades ago I read about a machine that could speed up the show without changing the pitch of the voices. That also made sense to me.

James said...

I can't recall where I read this, or I'd cite my source. But supposedly Stan Laurel didn't like how the old Laurel & Hardy shorts played when they ran on the syndicated TV show "Laurel & Hardy," because they'd been timed for a theater audience's laughter. He offered to come in and help edit the films for free. Hal Roach (who owned the films) declined.

Nobody cares about the audience; the sponsors pay the bills. You need to talk the head of GEICO to demand that you go in and come up with a good TV edit of Volunteers.

Michael said...

I am reminded that Stan Laurel wrote to LA TV stations offering to edit his old films so the commercials would come at the right spots, and of course he never heard back. I can remember watching some MASH reruns and thinking, what happened to ...? Then I saw the full versions again and realized the damage they were doing.

As for Jim's comment, I love Buzzr, but during the day, they don't run exactly on time and make it very hard for me to record shows to watch!

Joseph Scarbrough said...

M*A*S*H has so many piss-poor cuts in syndication that I had so many unanswered questions until I got the DVDs and saw the episodes uncut that those questions were answered.

Like in "The Ringbanger," why did Henry have a random piece of paper or something around his ear? Because in an entirely cut scene, we see Henry trimming his hair in his tent, and when Frank barges in to whine about something, a startled Henry accidentally slices his ear with the scissors, and the paper was actually a bandage.

In "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (an episode you and David wrote, Ken), why are Hawkeye and B.J. suddenly so mad at each other? Well, we still had the scene where they reveal to Radar they were just play acting for Frank's birthday, but syndication cuts the scene where they actually make the plans to do just that.

In "Abyssinia, Henry!" what's up with Radar's really random, and a tad disturbing line to Hawkeye about Lorraine having a fantastic body? Because as it turns out, he was just parroting what Henry was saying earlier in a scene that was trimmed, where Henry talks about Lorraine's body, as well as her clear, supple, smooth skin.

Many episodes from the first five seasons have their entire tag scenes cut as well, so many episodes in syndication end on a cliff hanger. In "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" you miss Frank's Purple Heart being swiped and presented to Walter/Wendell by Hawkeye so he can still return home as a decorated hero; in "To Market, To Market," you miss Charlie Lee returning to the 4077th with the hydrocortisone as promised, while Henry mentions having to come up with an explanation to his insurance company to pay for his desk; in "Soldier of the Month" you miss Radar being arrested and being brought back to the 4077th in a drunken stupor; in "Margaret's Marriage" you miss Hawkeye, B.J., and Potter sitting up with Frank in the Swamp, all fantasizing about what Margaret and Penobscott are doing in Tokyo.

And, there as cases, like Ken pointed out, where entire scenes are cut. "Dear Dad Again" has an absolutely hilarious scene in the Swamp where it's the middle of the night, Frank's drunk out of his skull, and wanting to play with Hawkeye and Trapper while they want to sleep . . . the entire scene is cut, which is a shame. There's also an entire scene in "Dear Sis" where Mulcahy listens to Klinger and Margaret drown their sorrows in the Officer's Club that's cut as well.

But you know what? A lot of DVD players have a "Rapid Play" feature, and as an experiment, I've found that if you use Rapid Play on a 26-minute episode of an old show, it actually plays in about 17 minutes . . . most "half-hour" shows these days, without commercials, are running as low as 18 1/2 minutes . . . rather than just cutting episodes of shows up, networks and markets might as well just play the episodes in a Rapid Play format and not cut anything . . . and I think some of them are catching onto this; a lot of people have noted SEINFELD plays faster in syndication these days.

Anonymous said...

It's alarming, yet somehow satisfying, to see how fast the end credits of EDITED FOR THIS TIME SLOT movies go by. And how tiny they are.

Andy Rose said...

@E. Yarber: Your assumption is correct, especially for cuts made in the 1980s. Shows typically didn't enter syndication then until they had about 100 episodes, so imagine you're the editor who is looking at the task of cutting three or four minutes out of 100 episodes on an inviolable deadline with no input from the creatives, and using 80s linear videotape editing techniques that were both incredibly cumbersome and expensive. It was a volume business.

Some shows made things a lot easier on the editors, even if unintentionally. The original network episodes of Mama's Family started with a satirical "Masterpiece Theater"-style introduction by Harvey Korman that was easily removed without affecting the story. The game show Press Your Luck was deliberately produced with a lot of fat because the game didn't have a time clock, and they never knew exactly when it was going to end. It was easier for them to keep extra-long bumpers and contestant celebrations and then edit them out later as needed. It's a much easier game for GSN to edit than, say, the Match Game.

Wayne Carter said...

Friday query: My agent submitted a spec script of mine to MASH in 1979-80. Though well received, we were offered only $500 for the story instead of a chance for me to sell the script ($10,000?) and get a chance for revisions or credit. We were basically told the writers' staff was locked and no outside script assignments at this point of the show were available (except supposedly one by a producer's girlfriend). Do you remember such a situation at that time? It's always bugged me, but I can understand staff writers locking the gates once hefty syndication residuals come into play. It was just frustrating. We didn't accept the deal.

Patrick Wahl said...

Speeding up the shows is an abomination. I can't watch shows when they do that. I've started into a show, realized they've sped it up because the actor's voices sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks and switched it off after a minute or two.

Al Dente said...

Watching Hogan’s Heroes on METV I see characters in the credits that were cut from the episode. At least they kept the credits. Does the actor still get residuals?

Lisa F. said...

Ken, you said, "why watch a cut-up version of an episode when you can...get the DVD and watch it in its original form?" This has been debated many times in MASH groups on Facebook.

I'm a proud Martinis and Medicine owner, and had occasionally watched a few DVDs in their entirety, with the laugh track off like E. Yarber above, until the novelty of doing so wore off. I guess I watch the current cut episodes because they're conveniently on, and I enjoy the randomness of not knowing what's going to air until that same day. Sometimes the paired episodes or marathons air in order, other times they're randomly played.

I was recently fascinated to see back-to-back episodes of the last episode from Season 11 followed by the Pilot. Not only were Mr. Alda and Ms. Swit eleven years older and better, the episodes were two entirely different shows on the same sets, which blew me away. And the background music repeated throughout season 1 was horrible, IMHO.

I honestly didn't know they air digitally sped up shows. The only Minnie Mouse episodes of MASH I've seen were annoyingly mirror image, and online. I tune out when the helium-induced dialogue begins.

Although I don't know every scene that's supposed to be included in each episode, I'd much rather watch more MASH and less sad-dog, ASPCA infomercials. I get particularly perturbed when Movie Tonight fails to end with Colonel Potter singing the title song in the OR, which was a particularly nice touch, btw.

Steve Bailey said...

I remember that in the first few seasons of "All in the Family," each episode had a "tag scene" (you probably have a better name for it) that wrung one or two more jokes from the episode's premise. When CBS started rerunning the shows in the afternoons in 1976, they'd simply remove the tag scene (and maybe a minute or two from the episode's first scene). Norman Lear was so incensed, he had his name removed from the rerun's credits.

John Nixon said...

I believe that there are probably 'editing engineers' employed by syndication companies. They are given a pile of programs to edit down to a uniform length with a standard amount of open time for commercial insertion. They're not paid much money so they don't really care about content as much as getting the work done. They would look for a fade out and then a fade in and chop out whatever is in between. Keep doing that and speed it up a little until they arrive at the assigned length, click on 'save' and then move on to the next one.

Stations who buy the syndication package don't worry about content as much as filling the time with a well known show. Name recognition acts as bait as they 'fish' for viewers. A lot of the ads that run in the breaks are 'per inquiry' ads and only generate revenue if they get responded to. Response to ads that are paid for isn't important because they are bought based on ratings statistics rather than customer response. So the income from rerun packages is fairly steady and predictable.

Viewer complaints are rare. Low wage engineers 'babysit' the program down at the station while messing around on Facebook. The people who watch the rerun series will turn it on and watch it again the next night and the night after that and on and on. The creative people will notice the deterioration of quality but sales & management will not and as long as it's filling time and bringing in some money it will be fulfilling its purpose.

Frank Beans said...

I grew up watching MASH in syndication in the 80s, and it wasn't until the full season DVDs were released decades later that I got full appreciation for the show. Man, did they butcher it back then.

One example hat comes to my mind, because it's a favorite and I happened to record it on VCR, is "Of Moose and Men" (I had no idea that episodes had titles back then either). The show has three intricate story threads-- Sgt. Zale getting a Dear John letter from his wife and then exploitatively shacking up with a Korean woman, while B.J. attempts to counsel him, Frank Burns insisting on an insanely paranoid bomb scare, and Hawkeye performing life-saving surgery on a cranky, authoritarian general who shows no gratitude.

The full original version links all of these plots together; the edited syndication version has them at best as unrelated and inexplicable threads. It's still (barely) coherent, but doesn't bring the whole picture.

Roger Owen Green said...

I just don't watch any old sitcoms that are in 30-minute time slots. 35 minutes.is usually better, and as someone noted, if you're around at 2:35, you're likely to watch the next show, which ends at 3:10.

speedymalone1962@gmail.com said...

Click bait?

YEKIMI said...

Another thing that's pissing me off in the syndicated reruns is when they fade out rapidly in the middle of a line to go to a commercial, I've seen that happen more than a few times on some of these diginets. If they can't be bothered to wait till the line's done, then I can't be bothered to watch their channel. Take THAT, advertisers! You ain't selling me shit cause I'm not there to watch it.

McAlvie said...

Networks definitely could fudge the time, so long as they didn't start a show early. And they have done it. I've sat through the tail end of some reality show that went on … and on … and on before the scheduled show began, sometimes a half hour or more late. Stopped doing that once On Demand made the show available, but obviously start times are not carved in stone. I'm sure some bean counter claims audiences won't stand for it, but since when have they ever been right about anything else?

Janet said...

Ken, inquiring minds would love to know which network(s) preserve MASH.

WGN America seems particularly awful.

At one point we had all 255 episodes (including the finale) on DVR. It was awesome!

Greg Ehrbar said...

I was working on a project in an edit bay and the editor remarked that he had just finished cutting a well-known musical to fit a shorter broadcast on a network. I started mentioning the songs he cut. "Oh, yeah. That one's gone, that one too..." Fortunately TCM still runs that film often and does not cut it. Hopefully TCM will survive, though I am amazed that it has lasted as long as it has without succumbing to advertising and editing pressure.

NBC also cut some of the wonderful Merrill/Styne songs from Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol the last time is was ever on network TV. At least it was on NBC, but still.

Years ago. local TV station ran an animated feature in prime time that was filmed in an ultra widescreen format but either the syndicator did not supply the anamorphic lens corrector or the station didn't bother using it, because the whole thing was squished beyond endurance.

I called the station but got a person who did know what I was talking about, was watching the store after hours and could not do anything about it. I guess they figured it was just a kid's cartoon and didn't even prescreen it. Have to wonder how many more times that happened.

Peter said...

Title of the new James Bond film: No Time to Die. Utterly generic, bland and non-descript.

Someone on Twitter made a good joke about it and a previous Bond title. "Die Another Day? No, Time to Die!"

J Lee said...

MASH had a few episodes over the first four seasons where the end tag mirrored how the movie ended, with the actors names and their characters being announced over the PA system. You would think it would be a no-brainer to cut those end tags out and keep the rest of the episode, where the actual story takes place. But when the show first went into syndication, some stations would leave that in and instead hack out 90-120 seconds of plot development earlier in the show.

Once the shows went to video and started being pre-edited by Fox, that flaw wasn't as bad. But I do remember the edits in the middle of "Abyssinia, Henry", where they left in the supercilious end tag when film prints were sent out. When it went to tape, and then digital, it was changed to create a commercial hole between the time Henry's helicopter flies away and the final reveal in the operating room, then right to end credits (well, right to end credits when they were still showing end credits, and not going immediately to the next show with the end credits flashed on in a box during the final scene -- that's even more annoying than the old syndicated edits!)

John H said...

I wish all of the Cheers episodes could be made available on blu-ray as they originally aired. I caught several episodes on HD Net a few years ago, and they look stunning. Unfortunately Paramount couldn't be bothered.

Jon said...

TV Land is, as far as I know, the only network that runs MASH (and other sitcoms) "off the clock" w/ 6 extra minutes. From what I've noticed in the past though, it just adds 6 minutes of commercials to the syndicated version. To check this theory, I just watched most of TV Land's rerun of "Bottle Fatigue" (Shelley Long's episode), scheduled 4:12-4:48 PM CT, tuning in 4 minutes late at 4:16 PM. Even if TV Land didn't air any commercials in the 1st 4 minutes of the show, it had 3 commercial breaks of 5, 5 & 6 minutes, adding up to 16 minutes, which leaves only 20 minutes of program. TV Land also removed the closing credits, running them in small print over what's left of the tag.

thirteen said...

About tags: CBS routinely removed them when it showed reruns of Dick Van Dyke, The Beverly Hillbillies and whatever else on weekday mornings during the '60s. I remember one tag that survived, when Rob explained to everyone via a chalk talk about how Richie had ended up with the middle name Rosebud. They just stitched the tag onto the end, without a commercial break.

Cap'n Bob said...

If this keeps up, will there be any shows left that are in their complete running time? Or is there a master tape in a giant warehouse, along with the Ark of the Covenant, that holds a full copy of every show?

Snoskred said...

I'm doing a lot of re-watching of shows and MASH is on my list because in Australia they played it out of order and likely now that you tell us this, hacked to bits.

They really did a number on Seinfeld here, the TV channel it played on chose maybe 30 episodes that they liked and played them over and over again in between "new" episodes when those were released. It wasn't until I got the DVDs and watched it in order that the show actually made sense.

I expect the same thing will happen with MASH when I finally get around to watching it. :)

Anonymous said...

My Favorite Martian TV series is currently airing in Australia using the sped up versions.

The show was originally released on DVD in Australia at normal speed.

A couple of years ago it was reissued on DVD - only this time using the sped up versions.

Reminding that DVD's can also be fallible.

sanford said...

It is tv land that seems to air Mash in the afternoon. 3 pm central time. The first show starts at 3. The next at 3:36 and the 2nd at 4:12. I don't know if they are adding extra commercials. Perhaps you can check and see for yourself. Every show until the 9:30 showing of Two and Half Men start and end at odd times. All the shows from 10 until 1 start and end on the half hour until the New Adventures of Old Christine. Those start and end at odd times except for the first episode which which starts at one. The next episode begins at 1:35. I am looking at the current schedule for Tuesday into Wednesday. However tomorrow all shows start on the half hour until the King of Queens starts at 9:35. The whole thing seems weird. You should take a look for yourself.

Mibbitmaker said...

I remember the aforementioned (in comments) The Most Unforgettable Characters in syndication. I do recall seeing Hawkeye and BJ planning to fight for Frank's birthday, plus Frank inadvertently putting "always getting the last word" in Pierce's mind. But the scene with Hawkeye and BJ bandying around that part was cut from the rerun. The whole "last word" bit throughout the episode is hurt by the edit, and was already my favorite part of the episode (one of my favorites from that season, too).

Dear Dad...Three (I think) also has a favorite scene almost completely cut, where they were having a staff meeting. The scene in its entirety is a great example of Larry Gelbart's amazing wit - the thing that initially impressed me the most about M*A*S*H, and still does.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Al Dente M*A*S*H in syndication is also really bad about that as well. I remember a couple of Season 5 episodes where a certain character may only have one scene in that episode (Margaret, Radar, Father Mulcahy being victims to this) and said scene is cut from syndication, which indicates they didn't appear in that episode at all. As for HOGAN'S HEROES, I remember a certain syndicated print of "The Meister Spy" from Season 6 that was edited in a way that Baker didn't have a single line in the episode, despite having a few in the original, uncut version.

@Lisa F. Would you consider joining my M*A*S*H Facebook group, M*A*S*Haholics Unanimous? Admittedly, it spun off from another group that wasn't very civil and had a few bad seeds who acted like Frank Burns, but we're always glad to have new members! Anybody is welcome to join if they're interested!

@Steve Bailey Up until Harry Connick, Jr.'s talk show came out, our local CBS affiliate used to air reruns of the black-and-white seasons of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW every afternoon (and had been doing so even before I was born, and I just turned 30), and much like your anecdote about ALL IN THE FAMILY, these particular Andy Griffith prints were completely uncut except for the tags. IIRC, certain local syndicated prints of THE ODD COUPLE were similar as well in that they too would omit the tag . . . but unlike Normal Lear, Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, and Garry Marshall hated doing tags, because they felt it wasn't necessary to force viewers to sit through another commercial break for just one more throw-away joke.

Stuart Galbraith IV said...

A friend who grew up in Boston told me about the editing of Our Gang comedies in syndication there and how, in one, the Gang was trying to save Pete the Pup, he having run afoul of the dog-catcher, from being euthanized.

In the original short, the boys are mistakenly told they've arrived too late. Everyone's in tears but then Pete turns up after all. Everyone's happy, the "Our Gang" theme swells, The End.

Except in Boston: A man comes out and, sadly, informs them, "I'm sorry, boys, but your dog is dead." Everyone cries. Music swells. The End.

Edward said...

In the scheme of things, wasn't CBS' decision to have Radar leave at the beginning of Season 8 a smart move? Ending the season with a cast member leaving might take the wind out of a show during the hiatus.

"Maude' which was the #4 rated show in 1975-1976 fell out of the Top 30 in 1976-1977. What happened during the summer of 1976 that made viewers lose interest in the Findlay's in the Fall?

What are your thoughts on season-ending cliffhangers to hopefully keep the viewer's interest so they stick around to watch a new season?

Rory L. Aronsky said...

So if your network is airing it – or CHEERS or GOLDEN GIRLS or REBA if that’s what they have in their library – why not take that extra time to show the show right? Believe me, people watching at 3 in the morning have no idea what time it is.

But if those channels don't get in at least three MyPillow commercials in a 15-minute span, god help them.

Jeff Boice said...

I think it's worse for mystery/crime shows like Perry Mason. Sometimes Perry seems downright psychic in how he solves the case- because they cut the scene where he came across the vital clue.

Anonymous said...

Wondered what comments you might have on an article about the writing of Friends.


There is even a Cheers reference.
This was television on the Cheers model: joke, joke, joke, joke, until suddenly the ground falls away and a moment of unexpected sentiment retroactively justifies and enriches all the effortless humor that preceded it.
Even though the article shows beforehand how non-effortless the actual process was.

Gary said...

A few years ago, TV Land was running I LOVE LUCY uncut, although allowing for contemporary commercial load, the episodes were scheduled in a 40 minute time slot.

The movie THE WIZARD OF OZ is an hour and forty minutes long. For years it ran on commercial TV, uncut, in a two hour timeslot. These days, if you see it on commercial TV, it runs uncut in a 2 hour and fifteen minute timeslot. Fifteen extra minutes of ads. And commercial broadcasters claim not to understand why people are bailing on them in favor of streaming services, where you can watch TV episodes that don't have four minutes chopped out of them and where everything isn't bloated with endless advertising.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Gary Streaming has ads and commercials, especially Hulu - and they won't let you skip them either.

MIke said...

The version of “The Sound of Music” that NBC ran for 20 years had around 20 minutes cut out of it. So it wasn’t until DVD that I saw Maria finish the “I Have Confidence” number in the Von Trapp courtyard (the cut version always had her stopping the song when she saw the huge house from outside the fence, and then picking up after the commercial break with her at the door. It’s also on DVD when I realized that Franz the butler ratted out the Von Trapps when they were trying to escape prior to the music festival. Bastard.! Now, ABC runs the full version in a four hour-slot.

I’ve seen “All in the Family” many, many times in syndication over the years. The original syndicated versions used to use cut the tag scene, as mentioned above. The more recent syndicated versions cut out individual lines out of scenes, and that’s somehow worse to me. For example, there’s a great scene in the episode where Archie buys the saloon and forges Edith’s name on a mortgage. Mike is gently talking it through with Edith in the kitchen and they cut out the line where she worriedly says, “But Mike, what if he don’t make a go of it?” And Mike replies, “Then he’ll need your support more than ever.” It’s a sweet scene and the edits really take away from it.

ScarletNumber said...

As for starting programs not on the half-hour, Ted Turner invented that. He would start shows on TBS at :05 and :35 for the reasons mentioned by other posters and because this way he would get his own listing in TV Guide and in the newspaper, since TBS was the only station that would start a show at 7:05.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

AMC plays M*A*S*H* in whole, it actually flows like a film. The downside is that it airs at 3 am.

taxbook said...

I cd not watch the SOPRANOS ON A&E

It wasn't what was taken out. It was where they put the commercial breaks.

In the middle of a bloody action scene a commercial. 20 secds later the scene changed to carmela in the kitchen but they cdnt wait 20 seeds to place the commercial

So i only watch SOPRANOS on HBO

AJ Long Beach NY said...

I cd not watch SOPRANOS on A&E

It wasn't the content... it was where they took commercial breaks

In the middle of a bloody action scene.... cut to commercial. They cd not wait 29 seconds for the bloody scene to end even tho 20 seconds later a new scene was in Carmella's kitchen

I only watch SOPRANOS on HBO